Pros and Cons of Doing a First Look | Traditional vs Modern

 Should I do a first look? Blog graphic

If you're like most, you probably fit one of these three descriptions:

  • You don't want your groom to see you until you walk down the aisle
  • You want to see each other before your ceremony
  • OR...You didn't know there was an alternative to your groom seeing you when you first come down the aisle and/or you have no idea why you should do it one way or the other

If any of those is you, this post is for you!

Reasons to Do a Modern First Look

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Although there's not a lot of formally cataloged history as to where/when/what/and why regarding the introduction of the modern first look, it probably came about as a way to make the wedding-day schedule flow more smoothly while providing a more low-key way for bride and groom to see each other before the ceremony.

Today, it's practiced by an increasing number of couples, and here are a few reasons why:

1. It can be more personal and more intimate

Do you and/or your soon-to-be spouse struggle with the thought of having hundreds of eyeballs fixed on your emotional reaction?

A modern first look may be your new best friend.

Not only can you decide who (if anyone) will be watching when you two see each other the first time during your wedding day, but you can have a moment to yourselves to connect and relax. 

Now, maybe you really want your soon to be spouse to cry as you come down the aisle. But, the truth is, some men (especially men) don't feel comfortable expressing emotion in public. The modern first look is a great way to limit it to a small group of family and friends.

And, it's not uncommon for brides and grooms to still cry when she walks down the aisle--even if there was a modern first look!

2. You two spend more time together throughout the entire day

Since you get to see each other (instead of avoiding each other), that means you don't just get to spend the ceremony and reception together. You get to spend possibly hours of more time together. 

3. Wedding party spends more time together=party

Since you two get to see each other, that means that the whole wedding party comes together earlier in the day, also! That means more time for the wedding party to,!

4. Ceremony and then party some more!

All or most of the formal photos can be done before. One example is to do immediate family before the ceremony. Then, do photos with the elderly and/or larger group(s) involving extended family that couldn't all make it early in the day and/or who didn't want to be there super early.

Either way, this limits the amount of taken up right after the ceremony and before the reception so people don't get too antsy as everyone else heads to party.


Cons to Doing a Modern First Look

1. You will need more coverage before the ceremony since your're adding a separate time for your first look.

2. If you're having an exit that will need to be photographed (any sort of sending off), you'll need a lot of extra coverage time, total. You're photographer will need to be there early enough for the first look, family formals, and then will have to stay late for the exit.

The Traditional First Look

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The traditional first look, when the groom wouldn't see the bride until she walks down the aisle, actually originated from the history of arranged marriage.  Fearing that the soon-to-be couple might try to back-out of the family affair, they were prevented from seeing each other until the knot was tied!

Removed from arranged marriages, this continued as a tradition of "supposed bad luck". If the bride and groom saw each other before the ceremony, it was a sign of bad "juju". 

To read more on all that, see this article on where the traditional first look originated! And don't worry, there's plenty of other weird wedding traditions that we still practice regularly!

Regardless, many couples still practice the traditional first look as a highly emotional, public part of their wedding ceremonies. And here are some of the main reasons why:

1. Less time needed before the ceremony

Not having to do the first modern first look as a whole other event during the day means, well, more time during the day for other stuff and/or less coverage time before the ceremony.

Also, if we're not doing family formals before the ceremony, that means  the family formals will be afterwards. This means less coverage time before the ceremony. (although it will mean more time afterwards). 

2. Maybe you've dreamt of that "first time he sees you walking down the aisle" reaction

It's totally legit if you want to keep it with the traditional first look. If it's your preference, and you like the anticipation, then go for it! There's nothing wrong with that. 

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Cons To Doing a Traditional First Look

1. More social pressure

2. More time apart from each other

3. More time the wedding party is apart

4. Instead of ceremony and then celebration, it's ceremony...and then up to an hour of family formals...

The Professional Perspective

Most photographers would suggest a modern first look, if not only because it helps the day go more smoothly. If you don't really have a long-running desire to do a traditional first look, then we usually recommend doing a modern first look. 

Talk with a Professional Wedding Photographer

We’re Jeff and Michele, a husband and wife wedding photographer team based in Louisville, Kentucky. Your engagement and wedding photography experience is our top priority — we want you to cherish it forever!

We’d love the opportunity to be your photographers. So, reach out to us online! We look forward to hearing from you!

Learn more about Louisville Wedding Photographers and Lexington Wedding Photographers, Jeff & Michele.



The List of Louisville Wedding Planners | Find a Wedding Planner in Louisville Ky

 Top Wedding Planners in Louisville, KY

Concerned that larger directory websites like The Knot or Wedding Wire might be affected by paid advertising, we sometimes have brides ask us if we have any particular vendors to recommend. While we do have a preferred vendor list, we also want to bring a complete list of the more popular Louisville wedding planners that are known to have a good working reputation in the area, regardless of whether we've had the opportunity to work with them yet, or not.

So, without further ado, take a look at some of the options for wedding planners in Louisville Kentucky!

Lauren Chitwood Events

The person behind this event planning company is Lauren Chitwood.

After she graduated college in 2004, she dove right into the Louisville wedding planner industry. In a spotlight article in Tops Louisville, she said, "I started straight out of college so I was too young and naive to even be aware of being fearful.” And it turns out, what she's done is working!

She pays close attention to even the smallest details of your big day, and offers her clients full-service packages, from design and management to florals, lighting and more. Her work has even been featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, Wedding Wire, Style Me Pretty, and other popular blogs.


A Romantic and Charming Kentucky Affair on Style Me Pretty

Jaclyn Journey Weddings

Jaclyn Journey has been named one of the South's best wedding planners by Southern Living Magazine, and it's truly no surprise.

She started out by planning weddings with a friend of hers after having a hard hit in her retail position during the recession. In an exclusive interview with Lou What Wear, she says, "I had no experience in weddings or florals so everything I learned was self taught, which I am really grateful for! I have made LOTS of mistakes, but I learned everything in my own way."

Now Jaclyn focuses on a "luxe yet comfortable aesthetic" for many of her clients' weddings, which has led her to designing both local and destination weddings. And in 2017, she acquired another event company, Brady & Company Events, to expand and improve her services for her clients.

So, if you're looking for a wedding planner in Louisville Ky, you can't go wrong with Jaclyn Journey.


A Modern Seaside Croatian Wedding on Martha Steward Weddings

ShaFox Weddings & Events

For over a decade, ShaFox Weddings & Events has been a leading wedding planning and design team based in Louisville.

Not only do they have a few different planners available to assist with your wedding planning needs, they also have a graphic designer who can create custom stationary for your invitations and other print products for the big day!

You can learn a little more about her in her Style Blueprint Feature.

L&M Detailed Events

Another top wedding planning company in Louisville is L&M Detailed Events. This team helps clients with as much or as little planning as they need, and has been published in Junebug Weddings, WeddingWire and Louisville Bride Magazine.

Engagements Wedding & Event Planning

Owned and managed by Kellye Linebach, this planning company aims to make the wedding process as smooth as possible for couples.

Engagements also offers a wide range of services, from budget planning and finding vendors, to destination wedding and honeymoon planning.

Millennium Events

These premier event designers have been around for over 10 years, and focus on implementing unique and timeless weddings in Louisville.

They also offer floral design services, so that you won't have to coordinate between multiple vendors to make the celebration cohesive in look and style.

Weekend Wedding Warrior

Rather than planning your entire wedding, this team specializes in making sure that the wedding you planned goes smoothly once the day actually arrives. Talk to Weekend Wedding Warrior about handling the logistics of your wedding day so you can enjoy your ceremony and reception without the stress!

Talk with a Professional Wedding Photographer in Louisville

We hope that this list of Louisville wedding planners has been helpful!

We’re Jeff and Michele, a husband and wife wedding photographer team based in Louisville, Kentucky. Your engagement and wedding photography experience is our top priority — we want you to cherish it forever!

We’d love the opportunity to be your photographers. So, reach out to us online! We look forward to hearing from you!

Learn more about Louisville Wedding Photographers and Lexington Wedding Photographers, Jeff & Michele by clicking here!



How to Plan Your Marriage Proposal

 How to Plan an Unforgettable Marriage Proposal Wedding Photographer Louisville

The time is here: you've never been more sure of who you want to spend the rest of your life with. Maybe you have found the one who's set your heart on fire, or you've known for years that this is the person you're meant to be with. No matter the case, if you are ready to take the next step in your relationship and know that they are, too, it could be the right time to begin planning a marriage proposal they'll remember for years to come!

But there's a lot to consider. Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime moment that can be extremely important, emotional and impactful for both you and your partner. Take a look at some of our top tips for planning the ultimate proposal below to get you started!

Be Personal

Instead of going to the latest trendy restaurant in town, think of how you might be able to integrate a sentimental and personal message into the entire experience. One great way is to propose on a meaningful day of the year, such as the day you met or had your first date. Or you could take them back to a location that is important to you both, such as where you first met or first said "I love you." 

However, keep your partner's personality in mind. Do they prefer to have important conversations in private? Would they enjoy being asked in public? If so, is a quieter location best or would they love to have dozens of other people around? These are important factors to remember before taking the leap.  

Research Ideas

Sometimes we just need to see what others have done to get our creative juices flowing -- and coming up with the right way to propose can be the same way! Do your own research to discover what others out there have done, and then strategize how you can make it your own with personal and meaningful touches. 

Consider Asking for Outside Help

Whether you reach out to a professional in the wedding industry to help you with the proposal process or you want help from their family and friends, asking for extra assistance to make the day go by smoothly is never a bad idea! Having other people involved can provide the perfect decoy to keep your partner from guessing what's about to happen. 

You might want to hire a photographer to secretly capture the moment on camera, or have her friends take her out to a spa day to get her all dolled up for the occasion beforehand. She'll definitely thank you later! 

Buy the Right Engagement Ring

If you want to keep things personal, consider integrating family heirlooms (either yours or theirs) into the engagement ring. Even if neither of your families have a vintage ring to pass down, there may be other pieces of jewelry (such as necklaces or earrings) that can provide the right metals or gemstones to create a new engagement ring with sentimental value.

Or if you plan to find something brand new, be sure to do your research and think about your partner's personality. Are they someone who enjoys classic and traditional styles? Do they love to be daring or strikingly unique? Try to narrow down to only a few ideas, and if you can't decide on just one, ask one of their friends or family members to give you advice!

Sit Down with the Parents

If having their parents' blessing is really important, by all means talk to them! And even if you aren't sure whether this is something your partner would want, it can be a beautiful gesture that can start your marriage off on the right foot with the in-laws. 

Practice Makes Perfect

Even though you won't be the one who's being asked, you can't forget that presentation matters! Remember to find the right outfit to wear, think about what you'll want to say and practice it when they aren't around. Not only does planning and practice in advance help the proposal go smoother, it may even help calm your nerves to know you're fully ready!

Have a Backup Plan

Especially if you are planning to propose outside, having a backup plan for a different location (or date if need be) can be a smart idea. Although we always hope for the best, sometimes it's important to plan for unexpected circumstances that may get in the way of your big question!

Talk with a Professional Wedding Photographer in Louisville

We’re Jeff and Michele, a husband and wife wedding photographer team based in Louisville, Kentucky. Your engagement and wedding photography experience is our top priority — we want you to cherish it forever!

We’d love the opportunity to be your photographers. Reach out to us online or give us a call at (502) 551-5799. We look forward to hearing from you!

Learn more about Louisville Wedding Photographers and Lexington Wedding Photographers, Jeff & Michele by clicking here!



5 Reasons to Hire a Photographer for Your Proposal

 5 Reasons to Hire a Photographer for Your Proposal

There are moments in life that simply ought to be captured on camera — and your proposal is one of them. Whether you've been planning out an extravagant way to pop the question for months, or you recently decided you're ready to take the leap of faith, there are several fantastic reasons why you should ask a photographer to be there for the surprise!

The Love of Your Life Will Thank You

Even if he or she isn't usually a big fan of having photos taken, a proposal is a once-in-a-lifetime event that you both will want to look back on years from now. Having a photographer (like us!) take photos of the reaction, the ring and any laughs or tears is a great way to show you put a significant amount of time and effort into the day.

Just be sure to find a sneaky way of having your soon-to-be fiancee dress nicely and/or get all dolled up for the photos!

The Photos Are Great for Announcements

Especially if you're planning a proposal with just the two of you and no family or friends around to see it live, photographs of the big moment are the perfect way to announce it to all those you love! You can use them for engagement announcements, engagement party invitations, save-the-dates or your wedding website!

You Can Turn the Moment into an Engagement Session

Want to have more photos taken after they say "Yes!"? Plan on turning the proposal into a full engagement session!

And if you're needing a little extra help with narrowing down the right location for the special day, take a look at our favorite engagement session locations right here in Louisville

The Proposal is a Part of Your Story Together

Sometimes, words simply can't do a love story justice. With so many memories over a few decades together, it will mean that much more when you have something tangible (like beautiful photographs) to hold onto and collect that show different pieces of your story over time. 

Professional Quality

There's nothing that quite compares to the level of quality a professional photographer can give to you, especially for a moment that's so important. Between having someone there who knows how to be a bit stealthy about taking photos from afar, ensuring that the images are print-worthy, and avoiding any photobombers in the background, you'll be glad you hired an expert (or two, if you contact Jeff and Michele!). 

Reach Out to a Proposal Photographer in Louisville

We’re Jeff and Michele, a husband and wife wedding photographer team based in Louisville, Kentucky. Your engagement and wedding photography experience is our top priority — we want you to cherish it forever!

We’d love the opportunity to be your photographers. Reach out to us online or give us a call at (502) 551-5799. We look forward to hearing from you!

Learn more about Louisville Wedding Photographers and Lexington Wedding Photographers, Jeff & Michele by clicking here!



Most Unique Wedding Venues in Kentucky

 Most Unique Wedding Venues in Kentucky | Lexington Wedding Photographer

Kentucky has a wide variety of wedding venues to suit every taste. While many of them are classic plantation homes, historical mansions and outdoorsy barn venues, these settings aren't for everyone. If you and your soon-to-be spouse are seeking a ceremony and reception space that is a little more out of the box and farther away from the norm, we've got you covered. Take a look at some of the top unique wedding venues in Kentucky below to host a wedding your guests will never forget!

Unique Wedding Venues in Louisville

Speed Art Museum

Whether you simply aren't a big fan of traditional or historic settings, or you're planning a wedding with a more modern style, check out Speed Art Museum. The architecture of this building alone -- tall windows and metal framing surrounding an open Atrium -- provides an upscale and urban vibe any modern bride will love. Combined with a variety of seasonal art exhibits that are perfect for portrait backdrops, this venue is sure to make your wedding feel unlike any other.

The Belle of Louisville

No need to fly to the coast for a cruise wedding -- Louisville's very own riverboat cruise, the Belle, offers a memorable wedding experience unlike any other in Kentucky. Some of the top perks include hosting ceremonies on the ship, having the Captain perform the cermony, and watching the sun set over the Ohio River.

Louisville Palace Theatre

For a truly epic wedding day that will have your guests talking about it for years to come, few venues are as incredible as the Louisville Palace Theatre. Whether you love the performing arts or you're planning a wedding that stands out from the rest, this event space may be a great fit for you!

This downtown Louisville venue not only has a lot of history (almost 100 years old!) but it has stunning Spanish Baroque-style architecture throughout that is perfect for breathtaking wedding portraits and videos. One of the best perks? It's in downtown Louisville and has enough space to comfortably host hundreds of guests.

21C Museum Hotel

Another modern venue that is a must-see for couples who love fine art is the 21C Museum Hotel. It's one of our personal favorites -- and for good reason! The inside of the building offers several different rooms for weddings of various styles and sizes, while the outside includes a private rooftop and overlook where your guests can enjoy watching the sunset over the Ohio River.

Unique Wedding Venues in Lexington

The Apiary

Having a hard time choosing between historic and urban? Find a balance by hosting your wedding at downtown Lexington's The Apiary. The building itself offers original brick walls dating back to the industrial era, but has since become a luxurious event space with a warm and inviting style: floor-to-ceiling windows, plenty of natural light, and crawling ivy outside of the building all make the place feel intimate.

21C Museum Hotel

No, you read that right. There is another 21C Museum Hotel in Lexington, and it's just as beautiful of an option as the one in Louisville! This boutique hotel boasts its own unique set of exhibits located in more than 7,000 square feet of gallery space filled with contemporary art. It's a fantastic choice for a modern and creative wedding, right in the heart of historic downtown Lexington.

The Livery

Another unique wedding venue in Lexington is The Livery, a premier event space right on Main Street. This former horse-and-carriage stable was repurposed in 2013, and is now a venue that blends rustic charm with an elegant touch. Wood beams and string lights overhead make the place feel warm, while the open floor plan and bare brick walls allow you to personalize this blank canvas into something that speaks to you and your loved one's style.

The Kentucky Castle

If you're looking for one of the most unique and luxurious venues -- not only in the state, but in this entire region of the US -- the Kentucky Castle can't be beat.

Only about a 20-minute drive from Lexington, this authentic castle wedding venue is a popular choice for couples who truly want to feel like royalty on their big day but don't want to have to fly to Europe to do so. From the stone-covered walls and vaulted ceilings, to the upscale, vintage furniture and decor, you'll fall in love with this place instantly.

Other One-of-a-Kind Venues in Kentucky

Red River Gorge

One of the most breathtaking natural areas in the state is the Red River Gorge, located in the Daniel Boone National Forest. Although not a typical wedding venue with all the bells and whistles, this stunning geological area is a fantastic option for outdoorsy couples who are looking to have a non-traditional wedding day.

With dozens of rock formations and natural sandstone arches, there's a lot for adventurous couples to love about this place. And if you plan to have a small wedding with less than 75 guests, no permit is required.

New Riff Distillery, Newport

If you and your fiancee love specialty cocktails and bourbon tours, you'll have to take a look at the Tower Room at New Riff Distillery. It's a modern space located on the top floor with tons of natural light, and includes a full bar, roof deck, an outdoor fire pit and views of Cincinnati and the Ohio River.

Lost River Cave, Bowling Green

Last but definitely not least is the Lost River Cave. Although getting married in a cavern probably wasn't your first thought when beginning your wedding venue search, it's by far one of the most unique venues in all of Kentucky. This cave has been transformed into an unforgettable wedding experience, complete with a crystal chandelier, historic bar and white drapery.

Talk with a Husband Wife Wedding Photographer Team in Louisville Ky!

Once you've selected a date and venue, you should start looking for the right wedding photographer (or photographers!) for you. We’re Jeff and Michele, a husband and wife wedding photographer team based in Louisville, Kentucky. Your engagement and wedding photography experience is our top priority — we want you to cherish it forever!

We’d love the opportunity to be your photographers. Reach out to us online or give us a call at (502) 551-5799. We look forward to hearing from you! 



Benefits of Hiring a Film Wedding Photographer (Who Also Shoots Digital)

 Benefits of Hiring a Film Wedding Photographer (Who Also Shoots Digital)

Although most wedding photographers out there today primarily use professional digital cameras, some of them (like us!) still love the beautiful and full-of-character beauty that film photography offers. Since it's a topic we hear come up in our discussions with couples fairly often, we wanted to better explain a few of the top benefits film wedding photography provides, especially since we also shoot with digital!

The Classic Film Look

 Why hire a wedding photographer that shoots film? A medium format image example

There's just something about film wedding photos that simply make them romantic and timeless right from the time they're captured. No filters or drastic editing needed here! 

Film photos are often described as "painterly". It tends to have a more "creamy" smooth look, as opposed to a super-sharp more "crispy" appearance that digital photographs have. Part of the reason for this is because of the chemical reactions in the film material vs the pure digital effect of a digital sensor. 

Film has the ability to retain more color, especially in the highlights. For example, distant hills will often retain the atmospheric blue while digital tends to lose some of the fine color transitions.

In the examples below, notice the color difference in the sky, grass/foliage, and hills in the distant background. These things are very difficult to reproduce in digital, and everything but impossible to reproduce when handling many photos at a time. You may also notice how much more "washed out" the digital image looks when compared with the film. 

 Film vs Digital Example (Film)

Film vs Digital Example (Film)

 Film vs Digital Example (Digital)

Film vs Digital Example (Digital)

Shooting film allows us to create fun, beautiful and nostalgic photographs that won't ever look dated or temporarily "trendy." Film photographs also have a stunning range of colors, tones and dynamic range that is hard to beat, especially for outdoor ceremonies with harsh sunlight. Simply put: when you hire us as your professional film wedding photographers, you'll receive photos that are gorgeous, well-balanced and won't ever go out of style.

We use both 35mm and 6x7cm medium format cameras. 6x7 film negatives are four times the surface area of a 35mm film frame as well as four times the size of a typical professional full-frame digital camera. This means that using medium format cameras, in particular, allows us to capture very high-quality images with interesting perspectives and outstanding depth--all increasing our ability to create an image that is visually intriguing to the eye. 

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Photographing with Intention

There is a stronger sense of "art" when photographing with film cameras, because it forces us to slow down on purpose and focus on several key factors that create a select number of fantastic images.

With digital cameras, photographers can get carried away with snapping hundreds of photos without a whole lot of strategy involved. While this process can provide many great images in the end, it also means there are many not worth keeping at all. The benefit of using film is that we're able to shoot with a documentary style that is intentional, rather than accidental or by happenstance. 

Knowledge of the Photographic Process

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Successfully using film cameras requires a lot from a wedding photographer. There are a few vital skills and bits of knowledge you need to have in order to create beautiful, print-worthy film images. These include things like film speed, focal length, exposure, composition and lighting situations -- all combined in-camera without the ability to see a preview on the back of the camera after the image was taken. In short, using film helps us hone our photography skills and makes us better at our craft, even when we switch to digital throughout the day.  

The Benefits of Combining Film and Digital


Weddings can be pretty fast-paced events. This is where having digital cameras alongside our film cameras is extremely handy. The setup time and setting adjustments can be far quicker in a digital camera than film, and we don't want to miss any details you'll love to look back over years from now! 

A few other dangers of only shooting in film? Not only can the film itself get lost in the mail on the way to the lab, but film cameras are (in general) older and can break without the photographer even knowing it until the film comes back. By having digital cameras with us, we're able to provide extra security for your wedding photos to make sure your images don't get lost or damaged. 

And especially for wedding receptions with limited amounts of lighting, our full-frame digital cameras can more easily capture low-light situations. So when you ask us to be your wedding photographers, you're getting the best of both worlds without having to settle for one or the other.  

Looking for a Husband Wife Wedding Photographer Team in Louisville?

We’re Jeff and Michele, husband and wife wedding photographers based in Louisville, Kentucky. Your engagement and wedding photography experience is our top priority — we want you to cherish it forever!

We’d love the opportunity to be your photographers. Reach out to us online! We look forward to hearing from you!

Learn more about Louisville Wedding Photographers and Lexington Wedding Photographers, Jeff & Michele!



5 Reasons to Hire Husband Wife Wedding Photographers

 Reasons to Hire a Husband and Wife Wedding Photography Team

If you're in the middle of searching for the right wedding photographer, you might already have discovered some of the benefits to having a second photographer present on your big day. While there are many fantastic professionals out there who often work as a second photographer, this isn't always the case for every wedding.

We'd first like to state that, just because a photographer is not a husband wife team, that doesn't mean they aren't an amazing photographer. And hiring a photographer who then hires a second shooter is common in the industry. So, to be clear, we are not bashing any form of wedding photographer business. We know many photographers that aren't husband wife teams that are absolutely amazing.

However, there are a few reasons why we think having a husband wife wedding photographer team is the very best option for many, many couples. Are we biased? Absolutely : )

Pros to hiring husband wife wedding photographers

  • Have the strengths  of both a man and woman to help manage all the details, with the mutual support to make up for each others weaknesses
  • Two full-time photographers that consistently work together as a team
  • Two unique perspectives
  • Shared experiences in planning a wedding
  • More photos of the moments that matter

Cons if you don't hire husband wife wedding photographers

  • May have the weaknesses of either a man or a woman, and may only have only the strengths of one or the other
  • Main shooter may cut cost and/or hire an inexperienced second shooter
  • You typically don't get to choose the second shooter
  • Possibly less professional photos
  • You don't get the dual insight and care that comes from a married couple

Potential Downsides to Hiring a Photographer with a Second Shooter

Singular Strengths and Weaknesses

Where a husband and wife wedding photographer team has the natural strengths of both a man and a woman, a single main photographer may only have one set of strengths and no partner with them that knows how to compensate for their weaknesses. 

Now, that's not to say that any given photographer, regardless of gender, can have their own strengths are weaknesses that break the "stereo-types". But, what is sure is that they have strengths and weaknesses, and, if you're wanting the benefits of having two sets of strengths matched with the support of making up for each others weaknesses, a husband wife wedding photographer team is your answer!

For example, Jeff, on his own was not always the best at styling and watching out for little details like hair being out of place, collars being even, etc., but he has always been very technically apt to solve problems, help others feel comfortable, and organizing so that things run smoothly. 

But with Michele, Jeff not only has learned to also watch out for, style, and care for many of the details he may have otherwise overlooked, but he also still brings his previous strengths to the table.

Michele, though great with details, has found gently commanding/leading situations and people (such as family formals, for example) to be very difficult. Her keen eye for the tiny details could keep her from being able to see the big picture and guiding situations and people in a way that leads to overall comfort. This is ironic because her gift would really shine if she didn't have to focus on all the "big-picture" stuff! Enter, Jeff. 

Either Jeff or Michele on their own could photograph weddings, but when photographing together, the dual strengths and ability to make up for each others weaknesses really shines.  

A main shooter, even with a second shooter, likely doesn't have the same structure and support system that helps magnify strengths and make up for weaknesses.  

Sometimes the second's quality of work isn't professional quality

Some lead wedding photographers hire a less experienced individual in order to cut back on costs, and this can sometimes mean a lower quality of work in the end.

When hiring a photographer who is hiring a second shooter, not only do you often have no control over who the second wedding photographer is, you also aren't guaranteed the quality of work they'll provide.

Though many photographers have second shooters they regularly work with, it is fairly common for photographers to wait, even until the last few days to hire their second shooter. It could be the case that the photographer and their second have never met prior to the wedding day.  Again, this doesn't mean that they're work will be bad. But, it is something to consider when investing your money and trusting someone to capture your wedding day. 

There is,  however,  another way you can help ensure your special moments are captured by two experienced professionals in the industry. With a husband and wife wedding photography team, you can take advantage of some of the following perks:

Lots of Joy Can Come From Two Full-Time Photographers

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When we say "full-time" photographer, we mean that photography is the only main source of income. Though we both work varying hours per week, we both consider ourselves "professional" working photographers, since this is our main income.

When you hire full-time husband wife wedding photographers, you're not getting one photographer and then a second (whose experience may or may not be professional). You're getting two photographers that work as a team. 

What sets us apart from many other husband and wife teams is that we're both full-time wedding photographers. Although there are plenty of other husband/wife teams out there, that doesn't always mean that both or even either of them is full-time. So, in this scenario, you may still be getting the main shooter and then the spouse is still sort of the "second shooter". That's not to say they don't have massive benefits as a husband/wife team. It may just not be the same as having to full-time pros on your side.

When you hire a full-time husband and wife team , you're relying on two highly experienced photographers who do this line of work full-time. Instead of one lead and one backup, you can have two lead photographers who know how to work as a team!

We've found this to be extrememly helpful, for example, during engagement sessions and wedding portraits when Jeff is organizing and setting up the scene for the photo, Michele can help pay attention to many of the smaller details, like making sur your hair looks great!

Relief, Because Well, We Know What It's Like to Plan a Wedding

 Lexington Wedding Photographers | Louisville Wedding Photographer

Although capturing dozens of weddings for others definitely gives us a lot of insight, having gone through the wedding planning process ourselves allows us to have the biggest personal experience in order to better understand exactly what you're going through.

We can relate to the excitement, the stress, and all the little details involved! This makes it easier on you, since we often provide answers to questions you may not have thought to ask and support when you feel overwhelmed by it all. 

Excellence and Devotion that Comes from Passion and Enjoyment for Weddings


We love what we do and we hope it shows! Weddings are something worth celebrating and cherishing, and we believe you deserve to have vendors that share your excitement. It also makes a big difference on the day of, since you will want to have photographers who are upbeat, communicative, and feel extra creative during the wedding day. 

Weddings are to us a very spiritual celebration, so we hold them in the utmost reverence. We believe that we should put all our hearts into helping to ensure that your wedding is held with honor, dignity, and care.

You Get the Care and Devotion that Comes from Two Devoted Lovers


It's no mystery -- marriage is a partnership. Encouraging and supporting one another is a huge part of our work. Not only do we each have our own strengths, but we also have and know each other's weaknesses and how to serve one another--something that main shooters and second shooters may not have in common.

We have each other's backs every step of the way and step up to the challenge when we need an extra hand.  Wedding days often require us to share responsibilities or divide and conquer.

When our couples are getting ready for the ceremony, we sometimes split up so that we can "be in two places at once." This is also extremely helpful during the ceremony and reception: one of us can capture your soon-to-be-spouse's reaction while the other is getting photos of you walking down the aisle. Strong communication and planning in advance are key to capturing these moments successfully, and we like to think we do this pretty well by now!

 Jeff focusing in on the groom during his first time seeing his bride that day

Jeff focusing in on the groom during his first time seeing his bride that day

 Michele focusing on capturing the emotion of the bride and her dad as they walk down the aisle

Michele focusing on capturing the emotion of the bride and her dad as they walk down the aisle

Unique Perspectives

Although we do inspire one another in different ways, we are still two unique individuals who bring our own strengths and ideas to the table. It's one of the many reasons why we love working together -- so our couples receive the perfect blend of fun, meaningful, detailed, and creative images they'll cherish for years to come. 

While we're both super detailed-oriented, we like to think that we tend to notice specific sorts of details. Jeff is able to quickly analyze situations and bring order out of chaos, which is super helpful when managing a wedding day timeline so that photos look their best. Often, while Jeff is focusing on you feeling comfortable in a relaxed and organized environment, Michele has the time to truly exercise her feminine eye for things like your dress being bunched up and/or hair being out of place.

When it comes to candid photos and special moments, having two perspectives yields a beautifully meaningful result.

Looking for a Husband and Wife Wedding Photography Team? 

We’re Jeff and Michele, a husband wife wedding photographers team in Louisville, Kentucky. Your engagement and wedding photography experience is our top priority.

We’d love the opportunity to be your photographers. Reach out to us online or give us a call at (502) 551-5799. We look forward to hearing from you! Learn more about Louisville Wedding Photographers and Lexington Wedding Photographers, Jeff & Michele by clicking here!

For more tips on choosing your ideal wedding photographer(s), see our related article: Feeling Confident About Choosing Your Wedding Photographer




8 Tips for Hosting an Outdoor Wedding Ceremony and/or Reception

 Tips for Hosting an Outdoor Wedding | Louisville and Lexington Wedding Photographers

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While indoor weddings have their own unique appeal, we're big fans of outdoor weddings for several reasons. Not only does being outside give us plenty of natural light to work with as photographers, but we also simply love the fresh air, stunning sunsets and overall welcoming feeling an outdoor setting provides! 

However, planning a wedding out in nature can often have a few specific challenges that ought to be considered well in advance of your big day. Here are some of our top tidbits of advice when it comes to hosting an outdoor wedding. 

1. Talk with Your Wedding Vendors (Especially the Photographer) About Your Outdoor Wedding


Discuss the outdoor setting with each of your wedding vendors. The most experienced wedding professionals in the industry know how to advise you on proper equipment, scheduling out the day-of timeline and may offer insight on coming up with a great backup weather plan as well. 

Especially important, make sure to talk with either the photographer you've booked, or one's that you're considering booking about what the sun will be like in the specific area where you are wanting to have your ceremony. Facing one direction may vs. another may mean having harsh shadows across your face, terrible sun flare, or squinty eyes in a large majority if not all of your pictures. Taking the time to consult a photographer that either knows the venue and/or that knows how to use technology to track the sun will drastically improve your photos!

Also, don't forget to talk with the photographer about the time of the day that you plan to start the ceremony. If you're wanting sunset shots after the ceremony, make sure that you're ceremony isn't going to be too late for that time of year. For example, if your wedding in late October, but where you live the sun sets at 6:30, having your 20 minute ceremony at 6pm means you probably won't get any good outdoor shots afterwards.

Simply taking the time to discuss this with an experienced photographer  can save tons of heartache while planning out your wedding timeline!

2. Look for Shade

Adam & Sami Whitehall Wedding 2017-357.jpg

This is especially important for outdoor weddings during peak summer months. Shaded areas with a decent amount of tree cover will allow your guests to feel comfortable during the ceremony and reception, and you'll also worry less about getting sunburned. Plus, shade will keep harsh sunlight from creating unflattering shadows and squinty eyes in all your photos.

3. Have a Backup Weather Plan

 Prepare for weather on your wedding day--tent under stormy clouds at Moonlight Fields Wedding Venue

No matter what time of year you'll be celebrating your wedding, there's always a chance that nature may not cooperate. If you're planning an outdoor wedding, have a plan in place in case of rain or snow. Even for couples celebrating at a venue without a backup indoor option, a great secondary choice to stay outside may be a high-quality tent. Be sure to consider these factors and determine the best plan of action so you are a lot less stressed should the weather turn for the worst last-minute. 

Many outdoor venues offer emergency backup options, and other venues are actually indoor/outdoor venues, fully ready to accommodate sudden changes in weather.

(We wrote a few posts that include indoor/outdoor options in Louisville and Lexington!)

4. Dress Accordingly

Steve_Kelli_Moonlight_Fields_Wedding (371 of 666).JPG

There's a reason why so many bridal shop experts ask their clients what the venue will be like when they are trying on dresses. If you're planning a fall or winter wedding but love tea-length or strapless dresses, you may want to consider other options or a compromise to make sure you'll be able to stay warm in the cold weather. The same is true for summer: avoid long sleeved dresses for yourself, and consider shorter dresses for the bridesmaids if the weather will be really warm on your big day. 

Also, if you and your bridal party will be wearing heels, be sure to pick up some Heel Stoppers to keep you from sinking in the grass/mud!

Heel Stoppers to Keep You and Your Bridal Party From Sinking

5. Notify Your Guests About Your Outside Wedding

Be sure to notify all of your guests that the wedding will be hosted outside, either via your wedding website or your invitations. This will help them to know whether or not to wear heels, flats, boots, coats, or lightweight fabrics -- all dependent upon weather for the location and time of year.

6. Remember Your Décor and Arrangements

 Bouquet outside on steps at Gardencourt Louisville Wedding Venue

One aspect often overlooked with outdoor weddings until the last-minute are the decorations. Keep in mind that your centerpieces and other floral décor shouldn't be out in harsh sunlight/heat or extremely cold weather for too long before your wedding begins. You may also want to make sure that your name cards are weighted down if you'll be having a seated dinner outside: wind can come at any time and blow them off the tables!

7. Offer Pre-Ceremony Refreshments

 The Little Turtle Club Wedding Groomsmen relaxing

Getting married in a colder time of year? Offer hot cocoa or coffee before the ceremony! Or during July and August, you may offer ice water or tea to your guests as they arrive. It's not only a nice gesture, but it'll keep them comfortable and less irritable while you say your vows. 

8. Keep the Bugs Away

If your venue allows, you may consider having a professional company come and spray the area the day beforehand to keep any pests at bay. As another option, keeping individual containers of bug spray on hand at the venue may also be a smart idea. 

 Outdoor wedding ceremony at Gardencourt Louisville

Bonus: Find an Outdoor Wedding Venue in Kentucky

Head on over to our other posts Best Outdoor Wedding Venues in Louisville and Best Outdoor Wedding Venues in Lexington to find the right location to celebrate your love for one another!

Looking for a Husband Wife Wedding Photographer Team?

We’re Jeff and Michele, husband and wife wedding photographers based in Louisville, Kentucky. Your engagement and wedding photography experience is our top priority — we want you to cherish it forever!

We’d love the opportunity to be your photographers. Reach out to us online! We look forward to hearing from you!

Learn more about Louisville Wedding Photographers and Lexington Wedding Photographers, Jeff & Michele!



Best Outdoor Wedding Venues in Lexington Ky

 Best Outdoor Wedding Venues in Lexington | Wedding Photographers in Lexington Kentucky

There's nothing quite like the magic and natural light an outdoor wedding offers. Between beautiful and organic backdrops for portraits, a natural setting for intimate ceremonies, and stunning sunsets perfect for celebratory receptions, there are countless reasons to say your vows outside. And if you're looking for some of the prettiest outside wedding venues in Lexington, Kentucky or near the city limits, this post is for you!

Whether you're shopping for a venue or you've just started the planning process, be sure to take a look at some of our favorite outdoor venues in the area that are sure to give you the pre-wedding butterflies. 

The Polo Barn at Saxony Farm

Love the idea of a woodsy and rustic outdoor wedding? The Polo Barn at Saxony Farm has exactly what you're looking for.

This horse farm has been family owned and operated for over 40 years, and includes a variety of outdoor areas to choose from for weddings -- most of which are shaded by sycamore, oak and maple trees to keep away the heat during summer.

Talon Winery

What goes better together than wine and weddings? Napa Valley isn't the only beautiful place to get married at a vineyard! For a romantic wedding near rolling hills of grapevines, look no further than Talon Winery Wedding Venue right here in Lexington.

With over 300 acres of lush, green space, a historic 18th-century tasting room, and a large outdoor covered pavilion, there is a lot to love about this venue!

Garden Branch

If downtown Lexington is more your scene, but you still want an organic style for your wedding day, The Grand Reserve's Garden Branch venue may be just the place for you. It's an intimate space that still offers enough room for larger weddings (up to 400 seated theatre style!) without losing a warm and inviting feel -- a wide variety of plants including rosebud trees, hydrangeas and Virginia creeper surround the space, making it a hidden gem in the middle of the city!

Outdoor Venues with an Indoor Backup Option

Worried about rain or snow? Want a nice blend of a scenic outdoor ceremony and an air-conditioned reception? No matter the reason, having a location with the option to host your wedding inside is a smart idea. 

The Apiary Wedding Venue

For a truly unique and elegant indoor/outdoor venue right in the heart of Downtown Lexington, The Apiary is a top choice. With an outdoor garden area next to a historic brick building with over 8000 square feet in usable space, this location is a hidden gem unlike any other in the area. It's a fantastic option for urban weddings with an old-time style.

Keeneland Wedding Venue

The venues at Keeneland beautifully balance Kentucky history with modern elegance. Two of their wedding location options, the Entertainment Center and Keene Place, offer couples the flexibility of celebrating their big day both outdoors and indoors. The Entertainment Center & Keene Barn is a venue that's perfect for larger weddings: tall ceilings inside and a large lawn outside provide plenty of space for a wedding with a high guest count to still feel inviting and comfortable.

Keene Place is more suited for smaller, more intimate weddings with a Southern charm. Tall trees near the lawn of this historic home can give some cooler shade even for weddings in the hottest months of the year. Keeneland also has a few other indoor options that vary in space and style, so it's definitely one to consider for those who love a variety of options!

The Round Barn

You could also consider saying your vows on the lawn outside of a Lexington historic landmark: the Round Barn Stable of Memories! This beautiful building has been around since the late 1800s, and has since been turned into an elegant space for weddings. The inside of the four-story barn is a perfect indoor location for receptions, and even has enough room for over 200 guests to sit and mingle comfortably for your big day.

The Carrick House

Looking for a location with a classic look and historic vibe that offers the flexibility of both indoor and outdoor options? Take a look at The Carrick House Wedding Venue!

It's a beautiful, white mansion that is commonly used for outdoor ceremonies on the lawn and indoor receptions. And one of the best perks of this spot is that it's in the heart of town, with easy access to hotels and other weekend activities for your wedding guests!

The Loudoun House

For couples looking for a wedding venue unlike any other in Lexington, the Loudoun House Wedding Venue is one of the best options around. Not only is this building a beautiful example of Gothic Revival architecture, but it's a wonderful choice for an outdoor wedding with a unique backdrop. And one of the best perks? You have the option to use the inside of the building as well, which doubles as an art gallery during the day.

Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa

Few other venues in Lexington offer such an elegant Southern charm as the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa does. Couples who get married here get to choose between the Mansion Lawn and the Overlook by the lake for a beautiful, classic outdoor wedding ceremony. It's a fantastic option for those who love history, since it's an authentic 19th-century mansion, complete with chandeliers, tall white pillars, and a grand staircase.

Outdoor Wedding Venues Near Lexington

Willing to expand the search to include nearby towns within 30-45 minutes of the city? These are some other fantastic choices in the surrounding area. 

Castle & Key Distillery | Frankfort, KY

One of the best parts about living in Kentucky is that there is a variety of places with rich history that have been turned into modern event spaces -- and Castle & Key Distillery Wedding Venue is by far one of the best. Originally founded in the 1800s, the authentic limestone castle at this venue is a stunning piece of architecture that can make any couple feel like royalty on their wedding day.

Also on site are gardens and gazebos, which are all top-notch choices for an outdoor wedding ceremony or reception. And one of the best parts about this place? It's only a half an hour's drive from Lexington!

The Kentucky Castle | Versailles, KY

Previously known as CastlePost, this gorgeous wedding venue is by far one of the most elegant and upscale wedding venues in the state, and another great indoor/outdoor option. The Kentucky Castle Wedding Venue looks like it's straight out of a European castle magazine, complete with tall, stone-covered walls outside and luxurious decor in every room. Picture yourself dancing with the love of your life underneath vaulted ceilings during your reception, right after a beautiful outdoor ceremony on the roof (one of their most popular ceremony spots)!

Walnut Way Farm | Shelbyville, KY

Another outdoor wedding venue worth considering just outside of Lexington is the Walnut Way Farm. It's the perfect mix of Southern elegance, rustic style and an organic setting. For ceremony and reception options, couples have the choice of a barn, lakeside lawn or garden -- all of which offer tons of natural light and beautiful backdrops for an upscale country wedding.

Contact a Lexington Wedding Photographer Team

We’re Jeff and Michele, a husband and wife wedding photographer team based in Louisville, Kentucky. Your engagement and wedding photography experience is our top priority — we want you to cherish it forever!

We’d love the opportunity to be your photographers. Reach out to us online! We look forward to hearing from you!

Learn more about Louisville Wedding Photographers and Lexington Wedding Photographers, Jeff & Michele!



7 Moments Your Wedding Photographer Shouldn't Miss

 Moments Your Wedding Photographer Shouldn't Miss Must-Have Wedding Photos

Whether you're in the beginning stages of planning your big day or you're only a few weeks away and are starting to go over your day-of timeline with your wedding photographer, there are a few key pieces of the celebration you'll want to have on camera. Some of the following moments are probably obvious, but be sure to consider the ones you might not have thought about yet — and will surely miss down the road if they aren't captured on your wedding day.. 

Getting Ready with the Bridal Party

 7 Moments Your Wedding Photographer Shouldn't Miss Getting Ready

When brides and grooms are getting ready for the ceremony with their closest friends and family, there are several fun and emotional moments you'll want to remember after the day is over. Even if you're a more laid back couple, the wedding is likely going to fly by so quickly. When all is said and done, you'll want to enjoy looking back on the day from the beginning. 

 Getting Ready Wedding Photography Images

And if you're really hoping to get the most out of your getting ready photos, bring some gifts to give to the bridesmaids and groomsmen, or pop a few bottles of champagne to kick off the day! 

 Lexington Wedding Photographer
 Lexington Wedding Photographer

All the Small Details

 Louisville Wedding Photographer

After spending months planning such a big event from top to bottom, there are a dozen small details you'll want photographs of to remember down the road, especially for your wedding album. Although mostly about your love for one another, a wedding is also a combination of careful planning and characteristics that speak to who you both are as a couple. 

 Louisville Wedding Photographer

If you have a theme, setting or style that says a lot about you and the love of your life, have these factors captured on camera — especially anything with significant meaning! From any family heirlooms worn on the day-of and letters written to your parents, to the gift you give to your soon-to-be spouse, ask us to be there for the moments you'll cherish for years to come.

 Louisville Wedding Photographer

First Look 

 First Look Wedding Photographer Kentucky

Whether you plan to do a formal "first look" moment or you want a traditional first look down the aisle, this is one of the most emotional times of the day and surely one that shouldn't be missed! And it's also one you should have two photographers present for (such as us!), since you'll definitely want to have both of your reactions captured on film. 

 First Look Wedding Photographer Kentucky

Also, be sure to have your photographer capture your first look with your dad, bridesmaids, and/or mom. Sometimes, these can be very emotional and are very worth capturing! Dads especially are often very emotional about their "little girl" growing up and getting married.

 Dad first look wedding photographer

First Kiss

 First Kiss Wedding Photography Kentucky Wedding Photographer

Although an obvious one, this moment is a beautiful tradition at the end of the ceremony you'll want at least one great photo of. You might even talk to your fiancee in advance to talk about your plans for your first kiss "style" — will you do a simple, emotional embrace or a dramatic kiss to get everyone cheering? 

Exiting the Ceremony

 Ceremony Exit Lexington wedding photographer

And right after the ceremony ends, there's nothing quite like that feeling of leaving the altar hand-in-hand with your true love! Be sure to ask your photographer to be ready as you exit the ceremony, but also don't be afraid to raise those hands, kiss again or dance your way to the reception. 

Spontaneous Moments with Family & Friends

 Reception Photos Wedding Photographer

The rest of the event should feel less about posed images and more about the celebration with those you love the most. One of the things we love most about wedding receptions is capturing images from a fly-on-the-wall perspective, without your guests ever realizing we were taking photographs of those moments.

 Reception Photos Wedding Photographer

The laughs, the tears, the hugs . . . there's a lot of great emotion happening on this day and you should be happily surprised to see them in your wedding photo gallery!

 Reception Photos Wedding Photographer

Grand Exit

 Grand Exit Sparkler Exit Wedding Photographer

If you're using flower petals, sparklers or any other fun grand exit style, tell your wedding photographer about it! We love to prepare for these exciting and scenic traditions so that we make sure to capture photos you'll love looking back on and sharing with others from the big day. 

Have another moment you think wedding photographers shouldn't miss? Let us know in the comments!

Contact a Lexington Wedding Photographer Team

We’re Jeff and Michele, a husband and wife wedding photographer team based in Louisville, Kentucky. Your engagement and wedding photography experience is our top priority — we want you to cherish it forever!

We’d love the opportunity to be your photographers. Reach out to us online or give us a call at (502) 551-5799. We look forward to hearing from you!

Learn more about Louisville Wedding Photographers and Lexington Wedding Photographers, Jeff & Michele by clicking here!



Best Outdoor Wedding Venues in Louisville Ky

 Best Outdoor Wedding Venues in Louisville

Have you always dreamed of having an outdoor wedding or can't imagine not enjoying beautiful weather for your special day? Luckily, there are several beautiful outdoor venues in Louisville Kentucky to celebrate with all of your loved ones! 

Not only do we love these locations for the abundance of natural light, but being familiar with a venue before the wedding day allows us to get more creative and plan in advance of the celebration for some of the photo locations we'd love to take our couples to. If you're in the early stages of planning an outdoor wedding, we highly recommend taking a look at some of the prettiest outdoor wedding venues in Louisville Ky that we've listed below. 

Peterson-Dumesnil House Wedding Venue

The Peterson-Dumesnil House is truly a landmark in Louisville, and a lovely venue for outdoor weddings. There interior rooms are large enough to host your getting ready for both the groomsmen and bridesmaids.

 Peterson-Dumesnil Wedding Louisville Wedding Photographer
 Peterson-Dumesnil Wedding Louisville Wedding Photographer

While the lawn offers a wide space for ceremonies (complete with a brick pathway down the aisle!), the outside porch is a great option for those wanting a covered area without having to put up a large tent. It definitely brings a warm and inviting vibe for your guests as they arrive!

 Peterson-Dumesnil Wedding Louisville Wedding Photographer

Foxhollow Farm

For a more country and rural style, one of our favorite places to photograph is the Foxhollow Farm just north of Louisville. This location has endless opportunities for natural light, wide open space and a very organic setting to celebrate your big day.

Whitehall Estate Gardens

There's something so elegant about a classic mansion with a lot of history, and the Whitehall Estate fits this description perfectly. The gardens at this venue include stunning archways, colorful blooms throughout the year, and stone covered pathways just waiting for your walk down the aisle!

 Whitehall Estate Wedding Louisville Wedding Photographer
 White House Gardens Wedding Bride and Bridesmaids

The mansion is filled with elclectic, vintage decor and is spacious enough to host guests as well as your getting ready.

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens

Another very popular location (especially for springtime and summer weddings!) is the Yew Dell Botanical Gardens. It's a stunning natural setting, with dozens of rare flower gardens and truly unique architecture that's just perfect for organic, boho or romantic styled weddings. The venue even has a castle on site that offers a really beautiful stone background for portraits!

Hermitage Farm

About 30 minutes northeast of Louisville is the Hermitage Farm, which is a great space if you're looking to have an outdoor wedding venue with the ability to have some of your guests stay overnight. When you book this location, you also have access to the indoor areas for small gatherings, as well as sweeping views of green rolling pastures on the grounds.

Gardencourt Wedding Venue

This gorgeous location is not only over 100 years old and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, but Gardencourt is also a stunning wedding venue. With brick-lined pathways through manicured gardens, a fountain in the courtyard, and elegant furnishings inside like the marble fireplaces and a grand staircase, there's lots to love about this venue.

 Gardencourt Wedding Ceremony
Gardencourt Indoor Outdoor Wedding Venue Louisville

One of the best perks of Gardencourt? You have your choice of saying your vows outside in the Rose Gardens or South Lawn, or, if you want an indoor option, you can also book Caldwell Chapel, which is on the same campus.

21C Museum Hotel Wedding Venue

One of our favorites is the 21C Museum Hotel for a variety of reasons. If you're looking to make your wedding easy and relaxed, you can have your getting location, ceremony, and reception all in one place!

It houses a private rooftop penthouse and open/outdoor rooftop overlook with beautiful views of Louisville and the Ohio River! Between exposed brick walls, unique architecture and an outdoor rooftop area, it's a venue that's hard to beat.

 21C Museum Hotel Wedding
 21C Museum Hotel Wedding Reception Bride and Groom

NOAH's Event Venue - Louisville

NOAH's Event Venue in Louisville offers an uncovered outdoor ceremony area with a large indoor hall for receptions. The outdoor space is enclosed with a red brick wall for privacy, but trees surrounding the property still give an organic feel to balance out the more modern style of this venue. This location also has a beautiful pergola that you can use to decorate for your ceremony backdrop as well!

The Olmsted Wedding Venue

Another elegant option for an outdoor ceremony location with an indoor backup option is the historic Olmsted. You can say your vows outside on the lawn underneath some of the tall oak trees, and celebrate with your closest friends and family in a dining hall that still has lots of natural light (and some gorgeous chandeliers!).

 The Olmsted Louisville Wedding Photographer

The Ice House Wedding Venue

And last (but definitely not least!) is the Ice House, which is the perfect space for indoor/outdoor weddings of almost any size! You can have your ceremony outdoor on the East Terrace and easily allow your guests to head straight into Main Hall for an indoor reception. Or you can use their Rooftop Garden, with a truly unique "green space" that has a view of Downtown Louisville!

Did we miss a venue that you think would fit well on this list? Let us know in the comments!

Talk with a Husband Wife Wedding Photographer Team in Louisville Ky!

Once you've selected a date and venue, you should start looking for the right wedding photographer (or photographers!) for you. We’re Jeff and Michele, a husband and wife wedding photographer team based in Louisville, Kentucky. Your engagement and wedding photography experience is our top priority — we want you to cherish it forever!

We’d love the opportunity to be your photographers. Reach out to us online or give us a call at (502) 551-5799. We look forward to hearing from you! 



Jeff and Michele's Favorite Engagement Session Locations

 Best Engagement Photography Session Locations in Louisville

While there are dozens of locations to choose from for your engagement session, it's best to find ones that offer a variety of spots and backdrops to use for portraits and all within a close range to one another. Our couples often ask for suggestions when it comes to engagement session locations, so we wanted to offer some insight about our favorite places to determine which might be a great fit for you! 

 Bernheim Arboretum Engagement Session

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest

One of our all-time favorite locations for engagement sessions is the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest -- for many reasons. Not only does the Bernheim have over 15,000 acres of land, including a 600-acre arboretum, there is a lot of gorgeous natural light to match the endless amounts of space there.

It's also a fantastic choice for a spring or summer engagement session with a natural or organic vibe, since the endless varieties of flowers and shrubs offer beautiful backdrops for engagement photos.

There is a $5 per carload fee that Bernheim charges visitors. Sessions do not have to be scheduled with a Bernheim representative.

Historic Whitehall House and Gardens

For a more elegant engagement session, one of our top recommendations is the historic (and beautiful!) Whitehall Mansion and Estate Garden. The mansion itself is a classy two-story building with tall white pillars that give off a timeless vibe we just love. And when you combine the home with the arboretum and gardens, there are few places in all of Kentucky that match the romantic ambiance of this place. We have loads of unique floral and greenery backdrops to play with for engagement sessions here, and we simply can't rave about it enough!

Whitehall charges a $100 fee and requires that sessions be scheduled in advance.

 Falls of the Ohio Engagement Session
 Falls of the Ohio Engagement Portraits

Falls of the Ohio

Although this one isn't actually within the Kentucky state borders, the Falls of the Ohio State Park is so close to Louisville (right across the Ohio River on the Indiana riverside) and is an option we love to suggest to our couples! Most people come here to look at the fossil beds, but we come here for the walking trails and the riverside views, which are perfect settings for scenic and fun engagement sessions!

 Falls of the Ohio Engagement Photographer

Falls of the Ohio charges no fees to use the ground at the time we're writing this article! However, if you're coming from Kentucky to the Falls, there is an avoidable toll bridge. Sessions do not have to be scheduled with a Falls representative.

 Best Engagement Session Locations in Louisville Kentucky

Yew Dell

Are you sensing a theme here? What can we say: we love gardens for engagement sessions!

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens is another top-choice engagement location in the Louisville area that we can't get enough of. Between the abundance of natural light, colorful plants, fountains, and brick pathways -- not to mention a simple yet stunning stone castle! -- there is a lot to love about this engagement session option.

Yew Dell does charge a $75 fee to host an engagement session. All session must be scheduled in advance.

 Greenhouse Wallitsch Garden Center Engagement

Wallitsch Garden Center

For a great indoor option on a rainy day, we love using the Wallitsch Garden Center! The greenhouses on site have a nice balance of giving an outdoor feel and natural light, all while being "inside" so we won't have to worry about a gloomy day.

Wallitsch hosts our engagement sessions at their discretion and must be verified in advance.

Waterfall Destinations

If you're interested in finding a more epic and scenic location to make an adventure out of your engagement session, please message us. We have a few waterfall places that are perfect for engagement portraits, and would love to bring a couple adventurous souls to our secret spots!

 Louisville Engagement Photographer
 Louisville Engagement Photographer

Want to try another spot?

We like to pick locations that allow us to shoot in various lighting conditions. A location with high trees or buildings that also has areas that aren't surrounded allow us to shoot with plenty of good light, regardless of where the sun is. With that said, we're open to any sentimental, destination, or other types of locations you have in mind. 

If you have a spot that you'd like to try out, let us know!

If you enjoyed reading about our favorite engagement session locations, head on over to read another great blog post, How to Prepare for Your Engagement Session

Looking for an engagement photographer? Contact us!

We’re Jeff and Michele, a husband and wife wedding photographer team based in Louisville, Kentucky. Your engagement and wedding photography experience is our top priority — we want you to cherish it forever!

We’d love the opportunity to be your photographers. Reach out to us online or give us a call at (502) 551-5799. We look forward to hearing from you!

Learn more about Louisville Wedding Photographers and Lexington Wedding Photographers, Jeff & Michele by clicking here!



How To Choose a Wedding Photographer | 11 Questions to Feel Confident

 Questions for Your Wedding Photographer Louisville

Finding the Best Wedding Photographers for Your Wedding

So, you've gotten engaged and you've been plunged into the strange world of planning out your wedding! Isn't it wonderful?

Of course, right?!

If you haven't started looking at photographers already, you've probably heard that they're the most important and critical vendor decision you'll make. If that's not intimidating enough, you've maybe realized that the choice isn't between a few good options — there are about a million photographers out there! And truth be told, some people have had not-so-great experiences that have left a bad taste in their mouth about their wedding photos, so the choice is a big and important one for sure. 

 Questions for Wedding Photographer

This is exactly why we created this guide! We want to help! Allow us to explain: One night after an engagement session, we discussed with one of our brides some of the things she learned that helped make her feel confident and relieved about choosing her wedding photographer. After hearing her story, we decided that other brides would benefit, just like she did.

Simple enough, right?  

So, without further ado, let's jump right in the guide!

Anatomy of the Best Wedding Photographers

We feel that there are categories of things to look for when it comes to finding the best wedding photographers to care for your wedding.

We've broken it down :

● Style & Ability: Their photos should make you feel the way you want them to make you feel while retaining a timeless and talented look that won’t quickly go out of style.

●Interpersonal Skills & Client Care: Your wedding photographer should have the ability to make you comfortable so you look relaxed and enjoy having them there. Also, they need to be able to manage their time and others, not only to help your big day stay on schedule but to rescue it from being "too behind." They also need to be able to confidently direct groups of people for formal photos, without seeming like a pushy jerk. 

● Photo Care: They should have the know-how and equipment to ensure that your photos are kept safe, even when hard drives crash.

● Business stability: Let's face it, if they don't have their actual business in order, it will affect how well they can serve you. In Louisville, there was a photographer that made the news because of her shady business practices that left couples high and dry.

● Business Offerings: Will they also include and/or design an album? Can they rush order your save the dates? If the photographer isn’t offering some things you want, then you may need to look elsewhere.

How Do You Find a Wedding Photographer? Ask These 11 Questions

Now it’s time for the list! Ask these 11 questions, and you'll be well on your way to finding the best photographer for your wedding.

1. "Do their photos make me feel the way I want my photos to make me feel on our 25th anniversary?"

This is a question for you to ask yourself. Are their photos so trendy that it'll be yesterday's fad by the time you hit your 2nd anniversary? Does it look like they're throwing Instagram filters on it, or adding a bunch of flare to make up for their lack of ability? Also, something to consider: are they including a distracting watermark on all their images? Perhaps they won’t deliver files with watermarks to you, but some do! So, be sure to ask ahead of time.

2. "Do they have lots of good photos in both bright and low-light or do only the first few on their website look good?"

Look beyond the first few photos! Pay special attention to color photographs as black and white are more likely to hide imperfections. Look for too-white wedding dresses or too-dark tuxes; the wedding dress shouldn’t be a giant white blob in every photo. Make sure their photos are consistently in focus, especially in low-light. Ask to see full weddings, and look for consistency in how the photos make you feel. If they refuse to show you a full wedding, take that as a red flag!

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3. "Do they have good, consistent reviews over the years, and at least some recent good reviews?"

Photographers that care about their business are constantly trying to serve their clients in a way that leads to 5-star reviews. Be sure to check their reviews on regulated websites such as Many websites such as Facebook are very unregulated when it comes to reviews.

Don't worry if they don't have "the most" reviews. The style you choose may not be the most popular, or the photographer you're looking at may do higher-end weddings, but a lower volume when compared to someone else. As long as they have consistent, good reviews, you're probably good to go on this point. 

4. "How many backup cameras and lenses do you have and are they as good as your main camera in low-light?"

If they don't have extra cameras and lenses, watch out. Camera shutters and lenses can fail! Having at least one backup camera and a few lenses per shooter is absolutely standard. 

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5. "Will you have a second photographer?"

Having two shooters to capture both you and your fiancee's reaction during your first look or when you walk down the aisle at a minimum is best. Also, do you want to have another way of ensuring you have more backups of your photos? Then make sure there's going to be a second shooter. If possible, use a husband and wife team. Sure, we might be biased, but having two people that have been through it all, and who also work together as a team all the time is a huge advantage to ensuring a smooth experience. Additionally, you probably want someone to be there with you and someone to be there with your fiancee during the getting ready portion of the day. 

*Bonus. Ask: "What's the second shooter's experience with photographing weddings?"

If the photographer seems to get uncomfortable, I wouldn't put much stock in having that second shooter. A second shooter could be anyone, even someone with hardly any skills that was booked perhaps even the week before your wedding. However, a caring and wise photographer will hire someone with credentials.

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6. "How will you keep our photos safe during and after our wedding day?"

Make sure they back up your photos multiple times! We personally use cameras that back up data to two cards at once. This, coupled with shooting film means that we have our clients wedding photos on up to 7 different sources at any given time.

Once we get the photos uploaded to the computer, we back them up to another hard drive, which is backed up again, and then finally backed up again to a hard drive that is taken off-site for extra protection against destruction by potential flooding, tornados, or fire.

If the photographer you’re considering doesn’t have a plan to backup at least three times, and preferably one in a different location from the rest of the backups, be wary. God forbid, but if their house burns down before they deliver your photos, will the original files be safe?

7. "What size files will you be delivering? Will I receive printing rights?"

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This is a two-part question. If you want to have the freedom to make large prints for years, make sure you'll be getting the high-resolution files. These files are typically 3mb-10mb, sometimes a little smaller or larger.

It’s nice to have smaller files (500gb-1mb typically) for uploading to social media. These files still look great but aren’t compressed to look pixelated. But, if you’re printing above a 5x7, be sure to get larger files that will look great printed!

It's OK if they don't include printing rights, but just know that, if you want prints, you'll have to purchase from them directly. If that's the case, then ask for a list of the cost of prints, and make sure it's worth it. It can be a huge advantage to order directly through the photographer if they calibrate their monitors to be color accurate and use a professional lab.

Often a photographer may refuse to grant print rights. This is not intended to be mean or to get more money out of you, but because they care about their craft so much and want to ensure that the final product of the print comes out looking as amazing as it is supposed to. While you may have access to less expensive printers, oftentimes these can show inaccurate colors and not last nearly as long as professional prints.

We offer both print rights and custom printing so that our brides have a choice.

8. "Do you have business insurance?"

If they don't, sometimes venues won't even allow them to photograph on the premises. But perhaps even more importantly, having insurance is also a good sign that the photographer has invested not only in quality gear but also in their business as a long-term craft and means of earning a living. These types of photographers are more likely to provide an awesome experience and a quality product.

9. “What will happen if you can’t make it to the wedding?”

Although this is probably the last thing you want to think about, making sure that your candidate has a legitimate backup plan provided they can’t come is HUGE! Be sure to ask who their backup is. Are their backup photographer(s) of comparable style and ability?

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10. “May I see your contract?”

A good photographer comes with a good contract. Reading the contract before booking is a really great idea! We suggest asking for them to explain any terms you don’t understand. If the photographer does not have a contract, even if they are a family friend, don’t book them!

After you've talked with the candidate photographer ask:

11. "Do I like them? How did they make me feel?"

This is one of the MOST important aspects of choosing your wedding photographer. Make sure you LIKE them! If they don't make you feel comfortable and relaxed, that will follow you throughout the day and shape your experience. Again, they will be with you the WHOLE DAY.

Natural looking photography is a product of having a natural energy and rapport between yourself and the photographer. This might not be an immediate rapport, especially if they’re a little shy, but if a photographer really rubs you the wrong way, don’t go with them just to save a buck.

You don’t have to meet them in person, although you can if they are willing. A phone call or Skype session should be enough to find out if you click! Remember, the photographer will help make or break your wedding experience and how you look in your photos (and how you feel about them later)!

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Let's Wrap It Up

Now, no photographer will meet all the standards perfectly, but they should aim for excellence in all these areas, and should be able to address each one of your questions.

If you found this resource helpful, please share to help others!

If you're a bride, planner, photographer or someone else with an opinion, tell us what you think in the comments! What other important questions did we miss?

If you have any other questions for us or would like to reach out and share your experience, please feel free to contact us!

Thank you and happy wedding photographer hunting!


Jeff & Michele



How to Prepare for Your Engagement Session

 How to Prepare for Your Engagement Session Louisville Lexington Wedding Photographer

One of the things we love most about our work is getting to know our couples prior to the wedding ceremony. And engagement sessions are the perfect way to do just that!

 How to Prepare for Your Engagement Session

However, we also know that this is the first time many of our clients are taking professional photographs together — which often leads to a little nervousness in the beginning of the session. Whether you’re unsure about what to wear to your engagement session or how best to prepare for it in advance, we’ve got a list of quick tips to help you:

1. Choose an outfit that will look flattering and great on camera.

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When going through your closet or maybe even ordering something special from to select your engagement session outfit, look for clothes that are soft and muted in color or go with something white, off-white, or blush — what we like to call “neutrals.” Tight, repetitive patterns and flashy colors can drag the eye away from focusing on the intimacy of you and your soon-to-be spouse.

And if you have a hard time selecting just one outfit, bring a backup option. Although we like to focus most of the session on your top choice, it can help ease nerves a bit to know you have a second outfit ready to go. When in doubt: ask our opinion, we love to help!

Want more inspiration for your outfit? Be sure to check out our Engagement Session Wardrobe Board!

Also, if your looking for something fun to wear just for your engagement session, consider something like Rent the Runway.

2. Use the opportunity to get dolled up.

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It’s not every day that you get portraits taken together, so use the engagement session as a chance to get your hair and makeup professionally done! It’ll also immediately make you feel more confident going into the session, especially since these photos are ones you’ll likely want to hang on your walls!

And if you already have your hair and makeup artist selected for your wedding day, you may ask to use this as your “trial” with them to test out a few looks before the session. Or head out to dinner after we’re finished taking photos, since you’ll both look dressed up and ready for a night on the town!

3. Know what to expect during the engagement session.

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Looking for a little insight about what our engagement sessions are like? We tell our couples that you’ll quickly learn our four basic poses, although we may make slight adjustments here and there. You both will catch on pretty quickly, so no need to worry!

We also suggest to remember that this is a time when you two are simply spending time together. Remember to breathe, feel as relaxed as you can, and be conversational (both with us and with the love of your life!). It’s totally normal to feel nervous, but know that we have you covered and want the entire experience to feel personable and easy. Be yourselves and enjoy the moment!

4. Can we bring our pet?

 Engagement Photos with Pets | Kentucky wedding photographer

Absolutely! We love have your furry friends join us. We suggest having someone else come along so that your pet(s) can go with them after their done with their photos.

Another great tip if you're hoping to bring your dog along: take them to a dog park and let them run around for a few minutes! This will help them to be a little more relaxed at the session, since they'll likely be more worn out and ready to sit for a few poses.

5. Where should we have our photos taken?

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We have a few favorite places that we suggest. Generally, we are looking for a location that has several different scenes that are close together. That way we aren't spending too much time going from one place to the other.

6. About what time should we plan to begin taking photos?

 Engagement Photography Session Tips
 What to Wear to Your Engagement Session

About 2 hours before sunset is the best time since the light is prettiest. So, for example, if sunset is at 7:30pm, we'll usually plan to start around 5:30pm.

Looking for an engagement photographer? Contact us!

We’re Jeff and Michele, a husband and wife wedding photographer team based in Louisville, Kentucky. Your engagement and wedding photography experience is our top priority — we want you to cherish it forever! We’d love the opportunity to be your photographers. Reach out to us online or give us a call at (502) 551-5799. We look forward to hearing from you!